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thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history
Wednesday 06|21|06
The fuss over tagging

Tagging seems to be as much of a "HOT" thing in the web world right now as Web 2.0. I know we are doing a lot of thinking about tagging here at work - especially in the context of nailing down a standard for collecting, presenting and managing tags. Hopefully some patters to emerge soon.

This post from Gino Zahnd got me thinking a bit about what is happening with tags here on Yahoo!

There is the conceptual and traditional view of tags - for the users, by the users.

Even though we have seen in research that normal people don't really understand the term they do understand the concept and the value. When changed to be called Topics, it all seems to click.

What is happening in Yahoo! Tech though, is a reappropriation of the presentation of a tag cloud based on users interest of topics and not a presentation of terms that in and of themselves meaningful for findability to users.

I am not sure I personally agree with this implementation, but I do understand the concepts and the desire for creeative exploration of ways to enable people to find the MOST interesting stuff on the web.

I think it will be quite interesting to see how tags play out in the long run as they becomes more ubiquitous and more understood by the everyday person.

Will we see sites take the bottom up approach of having users tag content of interest and then map that or intersct that to the traditional IA controlled vocabulary or taxonomy? This is a wild wild west time for this and a lot of rules will be broken while it is being figured out.

Posted by erin at 11:59 AM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Tuesday 03|28|06
Recovering from the Summit

what do IAs do when the plane is 4 hours late and you are already at the airport? play a card game with changing goals!Got back from the IA Summit around 2am last night. A 4 hour flight delay. But I am jazzed. I had a great time and feel reinvigorated for what I do and for all the cool work.

All my pics are processed and posted to my flickr account. Rather than blogging the conference specifically, I decided to survey with my camera and will be writing brief impressions/summaries for the Boxes and Arrows coverage.

brenda and anders - adaptive path partyThis was the best summit I have attended and it was my 6th. For the first time, I wasn't presenting, I wasn't coordinating coverage for Boxes and Arrows. I went out every night. I met lots of new people. I reconnected with lots of old friends. I learned a bunch of new stuff in sessions and in between sessions. And I learned to play poker!

Next year - it's Vegas, baby. See you there.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted by erin at 11:30 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Thursday 03| 2|06
IA Summit

I will be attending the IA Summit at the end of this month - this will be my 5th one. BranchLogic and my team at Yahoo! collaborated on a project last year that will be presented in the Poster sessions.

I am looking forward to catching up with folks and for the first time in 4 years, not coordinating coverage for Boxes and Arrows.

Look me up and let's get a drink.

Posted by erin at 10:59 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Friday 06|20|03
Things are Happening at AIfIA

Two things going on over at AIfIA.

1. There is a new survey in the works to find out about salaries. This survey is intended to gather current information about the salary and benefits of people practicing information architecture. This is a redo of the ACIA survey done a couple of years ago and we are interested in finding out how the field has changed. The questions are identical to the original survey and the team realizes that it is highly US specific and seems to leave out California as well. BUT, that said, it will glean important information for the field to see where and how we have progressed as well as if we haven't.

2. AIfIA is launching a Job Board. Here is the description:

The AIfIA Job Board serves as a clearinghouse for position postings relating to information architecture and more broadly to information design, interaction design, and HCI. The Job Board is a service for AIfIA members. AIfIA is the only professional organization solely dedicated to information architecture professionals and our membership serves as a qualified pool of candidates in this emerging field.

So if you are looking for a job or a candidate definitely check it out.

Posted by erin at 05:23 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Friday 04|25|03
IA Classics in Comic Book Form

Dan Willis has put together some really interesting comics that each cover a common concept / exercise that we do in our IA and UI work. We have published them over on Boxes and Arrows. Go get the PDF. Print them out and share with all your colleagues and no UI coworkers.

And along the same lines, Samantha Bailey, in her comments on the article, leads us to this fun poster which compares IA to dating and recaps many of the same techniques.

Fun and useful cube decorations.

Posted by erin at 08:48 AM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Wednesday 04| 2|03

looking through the referrer logs at boxes and arrows led me to this collection of readings for a class at the new school. In addition to the interesting article by Meg Cole on Boxes and Arrows on the reading list, check out the very interesting and in-depth articles about design from monkey media.

The links are to the articles in straight HTML format - but if you go to their main site via the link above - you will see them presented in their flash format which is also a lot of fun. I think they have done an excellent job of combining interaction, music and information to make a very usable informational, promotional site for themselves. Everytime I go there, I want to quit my job and go work for them. (just kidding)

Posted by erin at 09:10 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link | Comments (1)

Friday 03|21|03
IA Summit

I'm here at the IA Summit which officially starts this evening. My first time in Portland - it is raining but was lovely yesterday when I got in. The breakout of the war and all the protesters here, as well as the legion of police in full riot gear - some in our hotel - makes for an interesting backdrop to the conference. So far I've been to Powell's 3 times - and I have barely been here over 24 hours - and had some terrific beer at a small brewpub on 23rd with folks (Christina Wodtke, Peter Merholz, Adam Greenfield, Anne Galloway, Jesse James Garrett, John Zapolski).

I look forward to meeting folks and will be circulating throughout to meet and greet and coerce people to submit articles for Boxes and Arrows.

Posted by erin at 05:22 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Monday 03|17|03
AIFIA Leadership Seminar - it's not too late!

If you're attending the ASIS&T IA Summit this weekend and haven't picked a
pre-summit seminar, there are seats available for the AIfIA Leadership
Seminar on Friday, March 21. The full-day seminar will address "the most
important and intractable problems faced by the architects of today's
information systems." Louis Rosenfeld, Peter Morville, Victor Lombardi,
Rashmi Sunha and Karen McGrane will lead the session.

The cost of the seminar is $US 575. Details are available here:

Posted by erin at 04:38 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Tuesday 03|11|03
Happy Birthday B&A

Boxes and Arrows is a year old today! I can't believe it. It's been a great year - I have learned so much from all the fabulous authors I have worked with. I have met (via email and IM) some great, smart people and am looking forward to the next year of cool articles.

When I was asked to be an editor, I never imagined how this little side thing would take over... I mean enhance my life.

Posted by erin at 02:47 PM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

Thursday 02|13|03
Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture v-2 interview

Adam interviews Karl Fast, John Zapolski and Jeff Lash and asks them some tough questions about the Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture and where it's going.

Posted by erin at 09:36 AM | in Information Architecture :: | Link

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DUX—Five Lessons Learned

Coloring Outside the Lines

Modeling the Creative Organization

Coming of Age

Talking With Jesse James Garrett

The Tool Makes the (Wo)man

AIGA Experience Design Summit #5 - Recap

AIGA Experience Design - past, present and future: An interview with Terry Swack and Clement Mok

Summit Beginnings: Saturday

Chicken Run: Summit Closing: Sunday

design history articles
Foreseeing the future: The legacy of Vannevar Bush

Learning from the Powers of Ten

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